UNDERSTAND THE WORDS

Understand The Words
CD
Not Silent, 2007

GUEST PLAYERS
Alex A: drums
Dale Rogers: violin, piano
Deborah Levi: keyboards
Reverend Max Alt and the International Church of Miami: backing vocals

  1. Sunset Drive
  2. Great
  3. Old Man Blues
  4. Thank You For My Money
  5. Spiritual
  6. Jacuzzi Days
  7. Mr. Castro Goes To Harlem
  8. Gates of Heaven
  9. Facing Up To It
  10. Double Life
  11. Dead Aid (The Day The Music Lied)
  12. El Juego
  13. I’m Living My Lie
  14. Hope You Never Change Your Mind
  15. Love Is Pain
  16. Nail Me In
  17. Roll The Rock
  18. Fata Morgana
  19. Man On The Mountain
  20. Gorki’s Tune/23 (Ciro Diaz Penedo/English translation: Charlie Bravo/Julio Rey)

SUNSET DRIVE

(Instrumental)

GREAT

Ooh you keep me great
Keep the vegetables on my plate
You could be early I could be late
But you’re there

And oh I feel so straight
In the sun and in the pain
My smile runs back to my face
Which you chased

And I do think I love you more than ever after all these years
And if you weren’t around there’d be no one to end my tears
You keep me great

If you weren’t around there’d be no one to end my tears
I need you to keep me dry ’til we run out of years
You keep me great

OLD MAN BLUES

Young fart of today
Old boy of tomorrow
Join the hair club
Cover up your sorrow

Ain’t we funny
The way we move
Shaking man boobs
In a jiggly groove

Old man blues you know it’s true
Old man blues and I can’t sniff glue

Can’t sniff glue
Cause the kids might see
It’s bad for the prostate
Causes alimony

Old man ain’t got
Nothing in the world today
Gold teeth are resin
Hair is Grecian Formula

Old man blues you know it’s true
Old man blues long in the wooden tooth

Regrets – I’ve had a few
When I could not turn back it broke my ignorant bliss in two
Sitting on top of the world until it crumbled
Walking tall until I stumbled
It’s the future your future
It’s the future your future

Most days
I guess it’s OK
Go on up you baldhead
Are talkin’ to me?

Go on up you baldhead
Did I hear you say
John the Conqueror
Took my black cat bone away

THANK YOU FOR MY MONEY

Thank you dear God for my money
Thank you dear God for my wealth
Thank you dear God for my family
Thank you dear God for my health

Never gotten high, no, never gotten stoned
Never took no taste of no brother alco-hole
Winding down that sweet path that ends in Heaven

My kids go to Westminster they all get good grades
Junior’s got a scholarship for the baseball that he plays
Winding down that sweet path that ends in Heaven

I live in a free country, the United States
And I think our president is ever so great
Winding down that sweet path that ends in Heaven*

*When a Democrat is in office, it goes: “I live in a free country, the United States/Even if the president is someone that I hate/I’m still winding down that sweet path that ends in Heaven” (this recording was made with Dubya in office)

SPIRITUAL

The struggle so often denied
With praises that amount to lies
If you asked me how it feels
No answer I could give you could be real

What is spiritual?

Because I do not believe in “om”
Or a cloister on a hill all alone
Or a mystic carpet flying in the sky
The right side of the brain isn’t always right

What is spiritual?

The presence of the Lord is clearest to me
When right and wrong are hardest to see
And the price to pay is heavy on either side
And in the end it’s only faith that’s got you in drive

What is spiritual?

JACUZZI DAYS

Jacuzzi days
Man, I saw it yesterday
Dim memories post purple haze
In those jacuzzi days

Jacuzzi days
Nobody worried about AIDS
Nik Nik shirts green and mauve
In those jacuzzi days

Oh those blow-dried days
Dave Loggins on the FM waves
The music sounded like country
In those jacuzzi days

Jacuzzi days
Picture of hippie on Living Bible page
R-rated cameras not far away
In those Jacuzzi days

MR. CASTRO GOES TO HARLEM

Mr. Castro went to Harlem
Don’t believe what I’ve seen
Mr. Castro went to Harlem
Don’t believe what I’ve seen
He was welcomed with open arms
Like a member of the family

He said all the right words
Dropped all the right names
He said all the right words
Dropped all the right names
Well he played us all like pawns
Only pawns in his game

Mr. Castro went to Harlem
Don’t believe what I saw
Mr. Castro went to Harlem
Don’t believe what I saw
He went back to his plantation
Folk down there call it Cuba

GATES OF HEAVEN

Who’s there at the gates of Heaven?
Who’s there trying to get in?
Who’s there at the gates of Heaven?
I don’t know but he’s sure knocking

Maybe it’s the clergyman
Dressed in gold and robes
Maybe it’s the theologian
Armed with all he knows

Maybe it’s the president
Trying not to get vetoed
Maybe it’s the garbageman
With corns on all his toes

Maybe it’s the hooded stranger
Who sometimes wears our face
Quietly knocking with fear and trembling
Thinking about the prepared place

FACING UP TO IT

So many things I fought so hard for
Taken away from me in the end
All this talk about spiritual warfare
Most of the time losing
They say blessed are they that mourn
And my heart of hearts knows it’s a fact
Oh to give thanks for the air I breathe
And the Blood that seals the pact

Facing up to it
And I still have to tune my guitar
I still have to fill up my car
I still have to count my pay
I still have to know the time of day
Of day

And so the time comes to face up to it
To deal with it for all time
Like a little boy running in his dreams
As the monster catches up from behind
I long for a peace I know I can’t have yet
I know it’s all part of the deal
I look ahead to the horror of deliverance
When my hand will be revealed

DOUBLE LIFE

Look in front of you
Look behind you
Chances are I’ll be there

You may not see me
Nothing much to see
Look real hard if you care

Though I am free I am in a cage
Everybody lives while I spectate

I am so carefree
Nobody loves me
My game will end in a scoreless tie

Nobody knows me
I know nobody
I don’t care to and I don’t know why

Of I could die old and in my bed
My bones would dry there no one to care

Look in front of you
Look behind you
Chances are I’ll be there

DEAD AID (THE DAY THE MUSIC LIED)

The liberal party line is as faulty as the right
To be true to your own politic
And to be untrue to the people, it
Is a tragic mistake
All those people did make
And the rock and roll stars
Want pride with their money and guitars

They still down’t know about Christmas
Nobody there’s got any iPod
But they know about what electricity is
From their 9,000 volt kisses
No dancing in the streets
Just dying in the streets
Leaving bodies of children for the hyenas to eat
I guess we did get fooled again
But nobody’s facing up to it

I think back to the summer of ’85
And it’s worse than the day that the music died
Because it was the day that the music lied
Not the first but the very worst time
Rock was supposed to tear down the walls
But this fortified the government armor in militant halls
The musical notes are just blowing in the wind
And the food is diverted and there’s no stairway to heaven

And this country’s gotten all aided-out
With all the problems still around
The CDs sell the bank accounts grow
And everywhere downward spiral the souls
Anarchy never exists where it’s really needed
And the devil’s power goes uncontested
But I’m not surprised that it was a lie
Because in this world there’s but one Truth left to find

EL JUEGO

Cuanto quisiera yo parar el juego*
Las cosas nunca salen como las quiero
Cuanto quisiera yo parar le juego
Ya

Cuanto quisiera yo parar le juego
Cuanto quisiera yo pagar lo que debo
Cuanto quisiera yo parar le juego
Ya

Eres parte de mi cruz y la voy a cargar
Si yo te entrego a Satanas el te devolvera
Para atras

Cuanto quisiera yo parar le juego
De pretender de lo que no creemos
Cuanto quisiera yo parar le juego
Ya

Cuanto quisiera yo parar le juego
Sabes bien que amistad no tenemos
Cuanto quisiera yo parar le juego
Ya

Eres parte de mi cruz y la voy a cargar
Si yo te entrego a Satanas el te devolvera
Para atras

*This line says it all lyric wise…it means “How I’d love to stop playing the game”

I’M LIVING MY LIE

Wake up in the morning
And it’s raining outside
I can hear her breathing
As she’s dreaming inside
Drinking last night’s coffee
And then I take my keys
Pause before I go
To kiss her on the cheek

I’m paying the price
Of the things I have bought
I’m living my lie
Took away everything that I’ve got

Two aspirin
Chasing two Tums
Waiting for the email
That will not come
Numbers on the screen
Stare me back in the face
And the sun is running
Running in place

I want to dance with you
I want to hold you through the night
I want to feel your kiss
As you sleep in the starlight

HOPE YOU NEVER CHANGE YOUR MIND

You did what you had to do
You had to stop the lie
Well I wasn’t too sure about what I was doing
But I wanted to be by your side

Now I don’t know what to think
But what is done is done
There’s too many misunderstandings
Now I am gone

You did the amputation
You didn’t put me to sleep
Now I am nursing the scar
But it goes pretty deep

These feelings almost alive
Ripped away from me
Now it’s just raw nerve endings
And I don’t know what it means

So I hope you never change your mind
Hope you don’t come back to me
You know, I wouldn’t know what to say
If you tried to talk to me

Now I’ve got to be away praying now
I’ve got to find my place
I hope I can face you again
After I’ve sought God’s face

LOVE IS PAIN

Every time I think of you
A tear comes to my eye
Thinking about
What made you be so far away

My heart aches inside me
This love just overrides me
Oh Lord, bring on the rain
Because love, love is pain

I lie down before I sleep
Learn my lessons well
I’ll be happy with this pain
Because it’s something I know well

I know what could have been
I know near-perfection
Even if it didn’t call my name
Even if love, even if love is pain and

Maybe I can escape into a dream
Where I can see you smiling and holding me
And autumn walks and secret places and things
I can love you ’til my alarm rings

Yes the Lord, he’s got his plans for me
I’m on his mind
I hope that this reality
Means there is more to find

And if it’s another me and you
I’ll be more than glad, it will do
But for now I’ll stay this way
And stay with the love, with the love is pain, and

Maybe I can escape into a dream
Where I can see you smiling and holding me
And autumn walks and secret places and things
I can love you ’til my alarm rings

NAIL ME IN

Did it your way
Did it my way
But no way
Was the best way

Things go well for me and you just hate it
Things go well for you and I just hate it
It’s too late for anything but this choice
So excuse me while I part with my voice
I never wanted to sin
My cross is carved, so
Nail me in

Sometime I don’t know just what’s wrong or right
We do our best I know that we really try

ROLL THE ROCK

Roll the rock, Lord
Roll the rock onto my sin
Roll the rock, Lord
Onto disease and pestilence
Roll the rock, Lord
Roll the rock onto my death
Roll the rock, roll the rock, roll the rock

Oh to see Who’s at that right hand
Oh to see Who’s in glory above
Oh to see them put them plastic wings on
Oh to see the True Face of Love

Oh to see this whole world dipped in Clorox
Oh to feel my pride cut to the bone
Oh to see it all taken apart and shown me
Oh to see the payoff to the loan

Throw down your chains, boys, because it’s time to go

FATA MORGANA

I have held my newborn the first minute of her life
And kissed the warm faces of loved ones that just died
Known closeness and trust that I thought would never break
And betrayals in which I guess I sometimes did partake

They gave me honor rolls and medals with my head in the clouds
But the playground humiliations were what life was truly about
I used to pull my covers over my eyes in case there were ghosts
I waited for signs that never came and that never needed to show

What’s there to do in the end?
Emerald cities fade away
No promises were truly made
Should have kept them to myself anyway

Call my life what you will except for one of faith
No tradition or revelation augmenting the words on a page
Everything must pass everything will wave goodbye
Making way for the new lessons deployed into my life

The things that I have faced I’ve deserved them all and more
As I walk through the hours and approach each unknown door
And try to stay on good terms with the Deity that pulls me through
I could tire of learning but then what would I do?

Nothing to do in the end
Emerald cities fade away
No promises were truly made
Should have kept them to myself anyway

MAN ON THE MOUNTAIN

I’m ready to say goodbye
To the Man on the mountain
Where’s a good sculptor when you need one?

He’s wracked my brain
With all His inside ways
He makes such sense and He’s so had to accept

Where will He go from here
How will He take the years
The deck’s stacked against me more than ever now
As I see

I’m ready to say goodbye
To the Man on the Mountain
And I’m ready to say goodbye to me

Because it’s no longer what I do
But how and why
My merit badges mean no more to me

Where will I go from here
As I’m assaulted by the years
I imagined there was no Heaven
And I found out what Hell was
I haven’t got it all figured out
But I think I know what it’s all about
To kill the emperor of ice cream
And allowance
Of a dream

Where will I go from here
As I’m assaulted by the years
The deck’s stacked against me more than ever now
As I see

I’m ready to say goodbye
To the Man on the Mountain
And I’m ready to say goodbye to me

GORKI’S TUNE (23)

Oh heart which enshackles all dreams
To make a party all that much worse
Changing each and every year of life
Into eternal passages of horror

If you share my deepest darkest secret
I’ll tell you that I plot against him
And millions of us to God we pray
That He’ll finally take his heart away
For his life is pain doled and dished out
The sooner he dies the better we say

These years of shadows and hunger
Have all taken your name, Fidel
‘Cos the names that f*** with history
Have a birthday with each morning bell

And if I could only express in verse
My profoundest reason to be
I’d tell you I just want to get the hell out
For there cannot be a model any worse
Than the one you pulled out, comandante
Of your ass and shoved right down our throats

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s